Written by Talent KAS

Related Topics: Science & Technology, Awards & Honours


  • The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named a minor planet after Indian classical singer Pandit Jasraj.
  • Information on naming the minor planet Panditjasraj is published in the ‘Minor Planet Circulars/Minor Planets and Comets’ on behalf of IAU.

Minor Planet Panditjasraj (300128)

  • IAU has named the minor planet as ‘Panditjasraj (300128)’.
  • The number 300128 is derived from Jasraj’s date of birth, January 28, 1930.
  • The asteroid, or more formally known as a minor planet, is located between Mars and Jupiter.
  • It was discovered on November 11, 2006, by the Catalina Sky Survey, whose telescopes are based in Arizona in the United States.

Process of Naming Minor Planets

  • When a new celestial body is identified, a provisional name is given to it.
  • The year of discovery followed by two letters of the alphabet and two numbers are the main components of the provisional name.
  • Reports suggested that the Minor planet which has been named after Pandit Jasraj was initially named as ‘2006VP32’.
  • The privilege of naming a planet is first given to discoverers, who have 10 years to propose a name.
  • According to the IAU’s guidelines, the discoverer or team is expected to write a short citation, explaining the reasons for assigning the name.
  • All names proposed are judged by the 15-member Working Group for Small Body Nomenclature (CSBN) of the IAU, comprising professional astronomers with research interests in minor planets and/or comets from around the world.

Minor Planet or ‘Small Solar System Body’

  • Minor planets are comparatively smaller celestial objects than Planets.
  • They orbit the Sun and are not large enough for their gravity to pull them into a spherical shape.
  • The shape of a minor planet is the factor that distinguishes them from planets or ‘dwarf planets’, which are almost spherical in shape.
  • The celestial bodies which are categorised as minor planets include asteroids, comets, and several other celestial objects that orbit the Sun.

About Pandit Jasraj

  • Pandit Jasraj (b. 1930) is an exponent of Indian classical vocal music.
  • He is the recipient of numerous awards, honours, and titles, including the prestigious Padma Vibhushan and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
  • He created a novel form of jugalbandi called Jasrangi that is styled on the ancient system of moorchhana, between a male and a female vocalist, who each sing different ragas at the same time.

[Source: The Hindu, Financial Express]

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